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[166]

Mr. Longfellow was, I think, not quite justly treated by the critics, or even by his latest biographer, Professor Carpenter,1 for consenting to the omission of the anti-slavery poems from his works, published by Carey and Hart in Philadelphia in November, 1845. This was an illustrated edition which had been for some time in preparation and did not apparently, like the nearly simultaneous edition of Harper, assume to contain his complete works. The Harper edition was published in February, 1846, in cheaper form and double columns, and was the really collective edition, containing the anti-slavery poems and all. As we do not know the circumstances of the case, it cannot positively be asserted why this variation occurred, but inasmuch as the Harpers were at that period, and for many years after, thoroughly conservative on the slavery question and extremely opposed to referring to it in any way, it is pretty certain that it must have been because of the positive demand of Longfellow that these poems were included by them. The criticism of the abolitionists on him was undoubtedly strengthened by the apostrophe to the Union at the close of his poem, ‘The Building of the Ship,’ in 1850, a passage which was described by William Lloyd Garrison in the ‘Liberator’ as ‘a eulogy dripping with the ’

1 Beacon Biographies (Longfellow ), p. 17.

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